As a StoryTerrace writer, Alexis interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below
There was a moment. A distinct moment when life slowed and a glimmer of brilliance creeped into my 9-year-old brain. As I stood behind the door of the pantry, staring at the new bottle of Nature Valley Ranch Dressing in my hand, I knew I had him. Like the Grinch, the smile on my lips stretched from ear to ear as I prepared myself for the performance I was about to put on.
My dad was going down.
My father is the funniest person I’ve ever met, and I don’t mean in the groaner “Dad-joke” kind of way. He is a master of comedic timing. I can’t tell you how often my near-death experiences have been the result of a perfectly delivered one-liner from this man. I’m talking choke-on-your-drink, nearly-swerve-off-a-cliff kind of gut-busters.
Even before I was old enough to fully understand his humor, he made me laugh. And he was relentless in finding new ways to crack us up. His greatest hits include his legendary mispronunciations of famous film titles (my mother once cursed him when she accidentally asked the video store clerk for Jerry Maag-Weer in lieu of Jerry Maguire), and his penchant for creating alternative names for things (i.e. Barstucks Foccee instead of Starbucks Coffee).
I had discovered I could make him chuckle by contorting my face in funny ways or wearing ridiculous garments of clothing, but it wasn’t enough. My crowning achievement goes to that day in the pantry when I made my first premeditated comedic attack on my father.
Days earlier, a Levi’s commercial aired that had my dad rolling. This “Crazy Legs” commercial featured a Latin dancer named Johnny Cervin walking a Mexico City street to the song Si, Señor. Casual, right? The camera zooms out; his torso is completely upright and normal but his legs are doing all sorts of crazy dance moves. My dad lost it when Johnny “walked” on the insides of his feet with his knees buckled in an unnatural way.
This was what popped into my head when dad sent me to the pantry.
Small and flexible, I splayed my feet as wide as they would go and walked out on the insides of my ankles, brandishing the ranch. I had hit my mark. My dad nearly fell out of his chair laughing so hard.
Were those tears of joy in his eyes? To him, yes. To me, they were tears of pure, unadulterated defeat as my crazy legs reduced him to a guffawing pile of human rubble.
The day I discovered I could make my dad laugh was one of the greatest days of my life.